Commanders Owner Josh Harris ‘Doesn’t Want Distractions’ So He Shut Down Talk Of Reinstating Redskins Nickname

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The Washington Commanders are just about to start their first season in the post-Dan Snyder era.

And for many Washington area football fans, that’s brought hope for a return to the organization’s former glory. As well as its former team name.


But new Commanders owner Josh Harris has made it clear he wants to shut down those conversations before they start. Harris recently made it clear that he has no intention of returning to the Redskins name. And he explained further on Friday why he made that decision.

“Obviously, I grew up in D.C. and I was there during the glory years, so I understand why fans love the former name. But, look, there was a portion of our fan base that felt disrespected by the former name,” Harris said. “Sports are supposed to bring people together and not be a distraction. I don’t want distractions…. I thought it was important that we end the conversation.”

Josh Harris Right To Focus On Commanders’ Nickname?

Despite relatively low expectations heading into the season, Harris says he’s “excited” about Sunday’s game.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about Sunday. I obviously won’t be sleeping too much between now and then. [It’s] a big day for the franchise, big day for us. And we’ve got to make sure a lot of things go right for the fans,” Harris said in an appearance on WTOP.

Washington Commanders
LANDOVER, MD – AUGUST 21: Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera, left, talks with new owner Josh Harris after the Washington Commanders defeat of the Baltimore Ravens 29-28 in a preseason game at FedEx Field in Landover MD on August 21, 2023. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“No one could have anticipated the outpouring of support from Washington and from the DMV. The fans have been amazing. The city has been amazing,” Harris said. “We really appreciate the support. We need the 12th man.”

There’s something to be said about focusing on the future, not the past. But it’s not surprising Washington football fans are hoping new ownership recovers some of the success of the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Success that occurred under the Redskins name.

Regardless, Harris and the ownership group haven’t ruled out making further changes going forward.

“We’re not going to re-litigate the past. We’re about the future,” he said. Harris continued, “We’re about building the future and not having a divisive culture that we’re engaged in. We’re going to look at everything come the end of the year and think about a lot of different things and do a lot of testing and see what people think. And we’ll learn. The beauty is we have the time to look at all of this stuff intelligently and make fan-based decisions.”

Even for fans frustrated about the new name, making “intelligent,” “fan-based decisions’ is not what the Washington football organization was known for during the Dan Snyder era. Maybe, just maybe Josh Harris will be different.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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